"Moonset with Palms" image ®2022 Eric Platt
"Moonset with Palms" image ®2022 Eric Platt

A Simple Question

I have a question.


[S = "Student" A = "Teacher"]

T: OK.

S: How can I awaken, achieve the non-dual state of consciousness?

T: I have a simple question for you.

S: OK.

T: Are you conscious right now?

S: Well, I’m not alseep. So I guess so…

T: I’m not asking about the body, about you as a body. I’m asking you: are you conscious?

S: Um, I guess so.

T: Don’t guess. It’s a simple question.

S: Yes.

T: OK. How do you know?

S: Huh?

T: You agreed you are conscious. How do you know? It’s a simple question.

S: Well, uh, I’m seeing things, hearing things, touching things…

T: No, I did not ask you about what you are perceiving. After all, this could be a dream. We have no way of knowing from the mere fact of perceiving things. Let me ask you again. How do you know you are conscious. What led you to say “Yes” when I asked if you were conscious?

S: Um… I’m not sure.

T: Was it hearsay: was it because someone told you you were conscious?

S:. Well, no, of course not.

T: OK, good. Was it because you inferred it from perceiving things? Remember, we already established we have no way of knowing just from the fact of perceiving things whether this is a dream or not.

S: OK yeah, we can’t really know… I mean, no, I don’t know for absolute certain from that.

T: So again, how do you know you are conscious? Was it because someone told you, when you were younger, or you read it in a book, learned it in school?

S: No.

T: Was it a guess?

S: No.

T: Then how do you know?

S: I just know. I don’t know. It’s just obvious.

T: Did it take any time to know?

S: No.

T: So it’s immediate.

S: Mmm... Yeah.

T: You hesitated. This is not a trick question. Let's try another tack: before you knew you were conscious, were you conscious?

S: I suppose…

T: Don’t suppose. Let me ask another way: is being conscious something you have or you own, therefore somehow acquired, therefore before this you were not conscious, then became conscious?

S: Yeah, er, no. Um, I mean...No, it's like, just how I Am, I guess.

T: Don’t be vague. It’s a simple yes or no question. Did you acquire being conscious?

S: No. Er, wait. Yes... I mean, I did a lot of meditating, and studies and practices, and went to satsangs and stuff. And I have consciousness, am perceiving it. I am conscious. So maybe that contributed. I certainly hope so [laughs].

T: No, I’m sorry, we seem to have a misunderstanding. You are not hearing my question. It’s very simple.
I am not asking what you have, what you acquired, or what attribute you have. I’m simply asking if you are conscious being.

S: [Silent for a long time] Yes.

T: Thank you. Now just rest in that. Whatever is happening is happening, and in sum, nothing is happening. That's all you need to know.

S: Um, OK....  I need to ponder this all a little.

T: Coffee time. We can meet later. 

Eric Platt


  1. Matthias on March 31, 2024 at 1:05 am

    Very good written, skillful Inquiry. Please more and thanks for that

  2. matthias on April 1, 2024 at 7:28 am

    Please write a Book with your most potent Self Inquiry Questions, like in this Article.
    Greetings from Germany and Happy Easter Holidays for everyone,

    • Eric Platt on April 1, 2024 at 10:03 am

      Funny, we were just talking about a book writing journey yesterday.

      Thank you and Happy Spring to All.

      I’ll be writing more articles along those lines in the meantime. Stay tuned and subscribe.


  3. Matthias on April 5, 2024 at 3:51 am

    I will buy it and look forward to read it

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